Former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju who died at the age of 78, was the first governor of the state in the current Fourth Republic having governed the state between 1999 – 2003.
A statement by the family said the former governor died at the National Hospital in Abuja on Tuesday, after a brief illness.
After the return to democracy in 1999, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to govern Anambra state, and served as Governor of the state between 1999 and 2003.
He stayed for one term and was believed to have been sponsored by Emeka Offor, a political kingmaker in Anambra.
After a fall out between him and his supposed “political godfather”, Offor, the power struggle between the two men crippled the machinery of government in the state.
By September 2002, unpaid teachers had been on strike for a year and civil servants and court workers had been on strike for months.
While in office, he passed a law that created the state Vigilante Services, which legally enshrined the Bakassi Boys, a popular vigilante group credited with reducing crime in the state.
He pitched his tent with Chris Uba, another power broker in the state who also later fell out with him.
Mbadinuju claimed he was excluded from the governorship contest in 2003 despite winning the PDP primaries because Uba and former President Olusegun Obasanjo opposed his candidacy.
Before entering politics he was an associate professor of politics and African studies at the State University of New York. He was also a personal assistant to governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Jim Nwobodo between 1979 and 1980. He also served as a Personal Assistant to late President Shehu Shagari between 1980 and 1983.
While consoling with members of his family, Governor Charles Soludo asked them to ensure his good legacies are sustained and prayed that the Almighty God grant his soul eternal rest!
Chinwoke Mbadinuju was born on 14 June 1945 and was married to Nnebuogo Mbadinuju. They had five children.